Individuals expect that the companies for which they work will also step up, and companies are responding in kind, redirecting funds and expanding their budgets to include organizations providing emergency relief and humanitarian assistance. As reported Friday by CNBC, Google has so far raised more than $11 million after issuing a challenge to match up to $5.5 million. And Apple’s Tim Cook sent an impassioned email to employees in which he announced that the company would make a “substantial” donation to relief agencies, promote customer giving to the Red Cross via iTunes, and match employee contributions 2:1.
But as Neal Ungerleider reports in Fast Company, aid workers and social entrepreneurs are using social media and other powerful platforms in creative ways beyond traditional fundraising, tracking projects in real time and connecting refugees with the goods and services they need most. An Amazon Wish List, for instance, operates like a wedding registry, letting donors buy essential goods for refugees in Calais and Greece. Germany’s Flüchtlinge Willkommen (Refugees Welcome) matches volunteers willing to open up their homes with individuals identified, and presumably vetted, by aid groups.